10 January 2012

Triumphant journey home

On the flight back from Zurich, Sandro Rosell, Josep Guardiola, Messi, Xavi, Piqué, Iniesta and Alves were all smiling after winning awards at the FIFA Balon d’Or Gala 2011.

Messi was named world player of the year for the third time in a row after getting almost half of the votes (47.88) to beat both Cristiano Ronaldo (21.6) and fellow FCB man Xavi Hernández (9.23). The highlight of the FIFA Balon d'Or Gala came when the Argentinian received the trophy from Ronaldo. In his speech, Messi also had words for Xavi, a further show of the unity in the Barcelona squad.

Shortly before, Josep Guardiola had been named the best coach of 2011, and in his speech remembered his assistant Tito Vilanova. And there were also five players (Messi and Xavi, plus Iniesta, Piqué and Alves) in the all-star XI for 2011. The whole day was yet more recognition for the FC Barcelona model, and a team that is making history in so many different ways.

After so many happy moments, the return journey to Barcelona, with 24 passengers, was a veritable fiesta. With Gerard Piqué as master of ceremonies, this was a moment to share the success with their families. It was all about having fun, with most of the attention focused on Leo Messi.

There was also time for photographs and a toast for the wonderful achievements, with beaming smiles on every face. The picture of the six winning players plus president Sandro Rosell and manager Josep Guardiola, symbolises all Barça's success. The plane finally reached El Prat Airport ten minutes before midnight, bringing an end to a memorable day for all the people aboard. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Youth] Juvenil B debuts in the Al Kass Cup

The azulgranas are in Qatar to compete in the first edition of the tournament the team will play its first game on Tuesday afternoon, beginning at 16.15 hours.

Juvenil B is in Doha (Qatar) to dispute the Al Kass International Cup. The azulgranas will play their first game of the competition this Tuesday against the one To Ahly, at the 16.15 hours, a party that one will be able to continue in direct through Eurosport 2.

Barça is part of the Group B with the Egyptian team and Paris Saint-Germain. The azulgranas will face the French next Thursday January 12. This first phase of groups has 10 teams, among them Juventus, Ajax and Basque of Range.

That of this year is the first edition of the tournament, organized by the television channel Al Kass, together with the Foundation it Aspires and the Association of Sports of Qatar. The competition gathers the young promises of the soccer sub-17 and it looks for to contribute in the expansion of the soccer among the society face qatarí to the World cup of the 2022. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Puyol: “Five points is an important distance but it's recoverable”

Barça’s captain doesn’t believe the Liga is over and he's confident that the team “will fight until the end”.

During today’s press conference, FC Barcelona captain, Carles Puyol, talked about Barça’s current situation in the Liga after the one-all draw at Cornellà-El Prat, a result that leaves the Catalans five points adrift of Real Madrid. “Five points is an important distance, but there’s still a long way go.” Puyol is aware that his team’s margin of error is getting smaller and that Barça is forced “to falter as little as possible.” But Puyol knows his team and he’s convinced that “we will not give up on the Liga and we’ll fight until the end.” For Puyol, even though Madrid’s lead is significant, it’s not insurmountable.

In regards to Sunday’s game, Puyol did not want to talk about the referee’s performance. “What we must do is concentrate on our work. We cannot control the referees.”

Puyol explained that the game against Espanyol left a sour taste in the players’ mouths, the sooner the ball beings rolling on the pitch the sooner the team will be able to prove the one-all draw was only fluke. The captain sees Thursday’s Cup tie against Osasuna as an opportunity to move forward. The Azulgranas will travel to Pamplona with the 4-0 from the away leg, but Puyol is wary of being too confident. “We have an advantage in the tie but we also know that it’s not over until the final whistle. We’re going there with a lot of respect, it will be a difficult match in a complicated stadium.”

Carles Puyol also talked about Leo Messi’s third Ballon d’Or win. The Barça captain believes that the Argentinian “can break all of the records” if he wins the accolade again, noting that “he has the ambition” to do it. The defender is sure that if Messi didn’t play football that “Xavi would have a couple Ballon d’Or awards.” Puyol went on to say that the team is like a family, “it’s one of our strengths, it’s why the team has achieved these results.” The good atmosphere in the dressing room was evident in Pep Guardiola and Messi’s award speeches, the captain believes that they were “very nice gestures.” (via FCBarcelona.cat)

First session without Keita

The first team returned to training on Tuesday with all of the available players present, apart from the Malian, who has left to join his national team.

Seydou Keita was the main absentee today. He is with the Mali national team getting ready for the African Nations Cup which starts on the 21st in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Whenever he returns depends on how the side performs, in a tournament where they share a group with Ghana, Botswana and host nation Equatorial Guinea.

But everybody else was there, including those that had gone to Zurich the day before and who were applauded onto the pitch by their team-mates this morning. The session also featured Cuenca of Barça B, and former player Rafa Márquez, who also trained with the group on Saturday.

The squad will train again on Wednesday, the final session before playing the second leg of their round of 16 Copa del Rey tie at Osasuna (Thursday, 22.00, TV3 and Telecinco). (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Ex-player] Belleti: "Barça also has the best physical shape of the world"

Julian Belletti spoken in Brazil about the victory of Barça in Club World Cup their physical preparation and the team mentality that reigns highlighting.

One of the heroes of the Champions League final that Barca won in Paris in 2006, Juliano Belletti, spoke for the Brazilian channel 'SPORTV' over FC Barcelona and its recent conquest of the Club World Cup against the Santos of Neymar.

The ex Barca right full-back between 2004 and 2007 analyzed the physical form of Barça and had no qualms in admitting that "Barca is also the best in the world in terms of physical condition."

The Brazilian, who scored that gave the victory to FC Barcelona in Saint-Denis against Arsenal (2-1), argued that "the attackers have the physical capacity of a medium or a defense, which can not be found in Brazil ".

Belletti emphasized the preparation undertaken by Barça, giving priority to the ball even in the preseason: "There are always exercises with the ball, also the preseason, everything revolves around the ball, even the trainer took advantage of it for athletic work. "

However, the exblaugrana said, in conclusion, that the key to this team is the union of self and collective work. (via SPORT)

The museum of Barça will expose the napkin with the first contract of Messi

Josep María Minguella, former representative of footballers, has assured in an interview to 'El món a RAC1' that has offered Barça the napkin where with Leo Messi signed his first contract with the club azulgrana in the year 2000.

Minguella explained that currently the napkin is "kept in a safe in a bank."

For his part, Jordi Pena, director of the Museu del Barça, replied, also told 'El món a RAC1', "is a sample piece" and that the club "would be happy to expose". (via MD)

Messi: "I intend to stay here forever"

The Argentine forward returned to acknowledge the support of his companions to his arrival in Barcelona from Zurich, after the show confirmed its third straight Ballon d'Or and reiterated his desire to always at Barça.

FC Barcelona players who attended the ceremony of the Ballon d'Or last night returned from El Prat Airport on a flight from Zurich.

Leo Messi, visibly pleased with his third Ballon d'Or, was accompanied by his girlfriend Antonella and their parents. The player has thanked the support of his shipmates and the selection and ensured that his intention is to continue at the club forever.

On the situation in the league, the Argentine has opined that Barça still has options and can not afford more failures waiting for Madrid lose some points. (via SPORT)

Bartomeu: "Madrid is the favorite one, but we will fight"

The vice president also declined to say sports arbitration in Cornellà.

Vice sporting FC Barcelona , Josep Maria Bartomeu , acknowledged yesterday in Ona FM microphones that Real Madrid "is still a very strong team this year. the leader. It is the favorite one, but they are still many points to fight. The League is very long."

Bartomeu insisted that "it was a favorite before this match. Some time ago I took a distance. Now we're back a little further out but, despite being favorite, here there is no lost anything. Our team always fights and exit ever. There confidence in the remainder of season. "

To the hand within the area of Raúl Rodríguez Álvarez Turienzo not raised by the last kick of the Espanyol-Barça, the vice president said that "we do not value the performances of the referees. Like all people, can sometimes be wrong or hit" he said. Asked if the pressure of Jose Mourinho was taking its toll on members of the Association commented that "in these matters we do not enter. It is fitting that our team play at the highest level and we are in a rival Espanyol us not made it easy. level do not play forever, but nothing happens. I will strive to improve. "

With regard to outstanding issues, said: "Guardiola will continue whenever you want. He will decide. I want to be optimistic." On Abidal , said "I do not know whether to renew this week. I have to give time. It is a key player and I hope you say yes. With Abidal and we are not negotiating, we made ​​a proposal and are waiting to respond."

In Isaac Cuenca explained that "we have it for the first team next season. We are negotiating." She confirmed that "we are looking for a team to Hleb. In no case will return to Barça". (via MD)

Arsenal wants to take Abidal

According to Sky Sports, Arsene Wenger will be for him to reinforce his defense decimated.

Advantage that Barça has not yet completed its renovation, the Arsenal is willing to try to take Eric Abidal to London. According to Sky Sports said yesterday, sources in the club 'gunner' interest allowed to seize French international of Barça.

Arsene Wenger wants to strengthen their defensive line, and it does not have excessive guarantees effective in that position, and has set his sights on Abidal.

Although in principle the Barça and Abidal and agree to the terms of the new contract, two years fixed plus a third option, the fact that the defense meets for five years playing eb Spain and also coincides with the increase in taxes after the arrival of the new government, would be taxed 56% - Abidal and his agent are running about turning the situation to not lose out.

Eric has made clear by active and passive that his desire is to continue at Barça, so we need to see if Arsenal can make you change your mind. (via MD)

Shakira, the spectacular woman in red

With a costume inspired by Grace Kelly, served as star and partner Gerard Piqué.

Impressive with a very tight red dress with a mermaid tail and neck reminiscent of Princess Grace Kelly, Shakira starred gala FIFA Ballon d'Or as the star is world famous. Bright eyes and wavy hair, was waiting at the door of the elevator Joseph Blatter, FIFA president, impressed with the star of 'waka-waka' which served as artist and partner Gerard Pique .

Barca landed with Shakira in Zurich occupying the space reserved for accompanying official private jet club, combining with a black mini-skirt atigresada and the admiration of fans awaiting the arrival of the cracks. Step firmly on the red carpet and the feeling that the universe is even more impressive Barca with Shakira as a follower of the club that dominated the football gala. In the first row, next to Blatter and Pele very close, the 'voice of football' received the first standing ovation of the show. The plan focused on an emotional TV Shakira and immediately closed her flat in the face of her boyfriend. Guardiola Joker, when he picked up his prize greeted "Pique's girlfriend, Shakira."

Gerard is charming even when playing the PlayStation 3. Gerard was distracted playing with the world champion and only lost 1-0. Friendly, expansive, joking with the elegant look of Dani Alves, who hopes to one day give FIFA Ballon d'Or 11 years to reward the best in each position. "Xavi Messi deserves it but still ..." he said. Also, never side won this award.

The rest of the family of Piqué arrived in a private air taxi, parents, businessman and writer Joan and Montse, along with grandparents, Amador Bernabeu tireless and his wife, Montse. Joining them Arturo Canales, manager of the player and great friend of all. Family of artists, so much so that Rex, the German shepherd that gave the great daughters of Amador, director of pre-educated yseñor, juggling a tennis ball to the delight of the family. The education Amador, who understands football. We miss this gala to another great soccer managers, Jesus Forge, which left us in the summer and had many anecdotes in the show last year.

Dulce Antonella

Leo Messi was accompanied by Antonella Rocuzzo , which debuted at a gala so much packaging. Elegant and discreet, with a black sequined short dress with her ​​hair loose. Antonella is sweet, Leo shares with ordinary life that likes to crack. With them, the parents, Jorge and Celia, stylish jacket with a set of pants.

With their parents also came Xavi. Joaquim loves football as much as his son but the truth is Maria soccer Mercè. It is the fourth time this scenario and steps Xavi and is being a habit that will also accompany his brother Alex, who lives in Madrid. Ivan Corretja them. Iniesta came with his great friend and professional Joel Borràs, Pere Guardiola Joining them in dual role of chief marketing officer of Iniesta and Pep's brother, who arrived with his wife Cristina Serra. The technical partner did not want to miss a moment, and even attended the press conference of the technician.

The Ronaldo Barca always said that the former girlfriend of his buddy Pep Guardiola was the prettiest. Ronaldo, the Phenomenon, with kilos of sympathy to go around was happy. Torn between giving the award to Leo Messi "or run off with the Ballon d'Or." He says he now works more than ever, "while good, before either worked well" and is happy. A large.

Another Brazilian, Neymar , showed their absolute complicity with Sandro Rosell. He came to Zurich with his father and all the happiness in the world. There he met 'O Rei' Pele, who served as World Ambassador of Brazil. Rosell and Bartomeu are 'feeling' with Neymar, is almost one of us. Yun Ballon day is ... when Messi permitting, of course. And nobody knows when.

It is quite ridiculous chrome Cristiano Ronaldo with a crest that seemed old-fashioned. Zidane and Butragueño were there trying to justify the absence of the crack and Mourinho, who knew that earned Pep Guardiola. Xabi Alonso made ​​a video with Iker, Sergio Ramos and Cristiano giving thanks for being in the starting ideal, all pretty surreal and seedy. Okay, today Copa del Rey match against Malaga, but at twelve could be home ... (via MD)

[Youth] The cantera returns of Christmas with good results and almost reaches the full of victories

The teams of the formative football of Barça have added 11 victories and they have only suffered two defeats against L'Hospitalet and against Girona The azulgranas has exhibited their good level and a great team game.

Girona complicated the beginning from the party to those of Quique Álvarez. The Cadete A found difficult to catch the rhythm, but as went advancing the game Barça left imposing until being able to dominate the game in the second part. The azulgranas opened the marker in the minute 55, with Sergio Buenacasa's play that ended up in goal in own goal of the gerundenses. Starting from the goal, Barça took trust and Buenacasa it marked the goal of the tranquility in the minute 65. At the end of the encounter, Engene marked a penalty that had just closed the marker.

The team of Fran Artiga and Andrés Martin controlled the game against Cornellà in the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper. The azulgranas was ahead in the marker in the minute 10 of the first part with Ivan Rodríguez's goal, and only six minutes later, Alexis Meva signed the 2-0. In the renewal, the occasions for the Cadete B continued being happened, and in the minute 55 the marker was sentenced with the reveilles of Paik and Marc Río that wrote down the 4-1 definitive.

Domain of Infantil B in the Field Municipal Can Jofresa. Denis Silva and Carlos López's boys had the clearest occasions in the game, and to the stocking it leaves they already won for 0-2 with the goals of Maoudo and Juan Cruz. In the renewal, the tonic continued being the same one and Guillem, in a great team play, and Braima that played with Infantil B this time, they had just sentenced the marker.

Good year beginning for the boys of Marcel Sans that golearon to Vilassar without too many difficulties. Alevín A went very superior to their rival, since left to the rest winning for 3-0 with two goals of Sergio Gómez and one of Dani Molina. In the second part the game continued being of color azulgrana and Barça it continued increasing its marker with more reveilles of Joan Altimira, Alejandro Marcos, Mamadou Touré, Arnau Comas and another of Dani Molina.

Great exhibition of good footnball of Alevín B that came out concentrated and with a lot of intensity in the game field. Jordi Font and Jordi Puig's boys was very guessed right of face to goal and they were ahead quickly in the marker, since a minute 6 won already for 3-0. The azulgranas dominated the principle encounter to end and they left without possibilities to the team visitor that was left without arguments before the gale azulgrana. The goals of Labinot (4), Djemba (3), Albert Portas (2), Pedro, Rubén, Oriol, Bernat, Lucas Sanllehí and Guillem gave the victory to Barça.

The boys of Àlex Gómez and Alexis Pintó crushing superiority in the first game of the year. Alevín C was very superior from the beginning of the encounter, since executed a very direct and offensive game that the locals could not counteract. The azulgranas worked a lot throughout the game and they made highlighted several plays singular that allowed them to increase the differences quickly in the marker. Take (3), Adrià Altimira (2), Sergi Rosanas (2) and Ivan Bravo they were the scorers of the encounter.

Alevín D dominated the party against the Ciudad Cooperativa. The boys of Xavi Bravo and Óscar Hernández left very strong in the first half, in which the rival didn't pass of half field. However, in the second half the locals planted face to the azulgranas and they were able to overcome the marker until leaving 2-1 to the rest. In the renewal, however, Barça recovered the control of the encounter and the players showed a very superior game that allowed them put again for before in the marker. The goals azulgranas were in charge of Julián (3), Marc Domínguez (2), Roger Vegas and Dani Morillas.

The boys of Cristian Catena began very well since the year in a game that they were put at once of face, in the minute 4 they opened the can with a lack goal. Benjamin C executed a very good game, and quickly he/she caught the rhythm of the encounter. The azulgranas dominated from the beginning until the end, and to the stocking it leaves they already won for 0-7. The scorers of the game were Arnau Farnós (2), Xavi Simons, Alejandro, Toni, Arnau Martínez and Pleguezuelo.

Complicated game for the azulgranas that faced in a friendly one against L'Hospitalet, a team of superior category. Also, due to the works of the Ciudad Deportiva, decided to play in the field 8, bigger than of habit. But, in spite of the difficulties, those of Jordi Pérez was at the rival's level and the first part was totally his. In the minute 5 of the first room were already for before in the marker for 2-0 thanks to the reveilles of Mamadou and Nadir. But as he went advancing the game, the visitors took the domain and the possession of the ball, although the azulgranas signed the 3-2 with Joël Pérez's goal. In the second part, the azulgranas lowered the rhythm and the rival was able to put on for before closing the marker with the 3-4.

Prebenjamín trained very well throughout the week and that was noticed in the good level that exhibited in the game land. The boys of Rafa Rodríguez went out with many desires after the vacations of Christmas, and they made a great team game that he left without arguments to his rival. The goleada azulgrana was signed by Ilias (5), Jurado (3), Pol (2), Sergi (2), Pleguezuelo (2) and Pablo. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Former player] Ibra votes first Pep; Eto'o, nor among the three

Casillas also forgot Guardiola: their podium was Mourinho, Del Bosque and Village-Boas.

The votes of two of the players who have left Barça for his poor relationship with Guardiola have been radically different. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has parked his personal problems with Pep and has voted Coach of 2011, ahead of Mourinho and Villas-Boas while Samuel Eto'o has forgotten all about his second coach at the Camp Nou, his podium was Mourinho, Ferguson and Tabarez.

Another who has forgotten Guardiola has been curiously Spanish captain and Real Madrid, Iker Casillas , who has opted for the two technicians, Mourinho and Del Bosque, and Villas-Boas. Del Bosque , meanwhile, has been consistent and has accepted the praise usually devotes to coach Pep putting Barca in first place ahead of Low and Ferguson.

Frank Rijkaard , coach of Saudi Arabia, has chosen his successor on the bench at the Camp Nou, Pep Guardiola, ahead of Del Bosque and Mourinho. Between technicians, Santpedor won comfortably. From large, only colleagues have opted for Advocaat , who has opted for Ferguson, Camacho and Capello , who have demonstrated their past Real Madrid with the choice of Del Bosque, Klinsmann , who has not hidden his fondness for his former assistant Löw; and Van Maarwijk , who preferred to Tabarez. The elections of Dutch coach and his son, Captain of the 'oranje' Mark van Bommel , they agreed: Tabarez, Guardiola and Ferguson.

Pep has been the number one, among others, Terry , Shevchenko , Thiago Silva , Buffon , Blokhin , Luis Fernandez , Tabarez , Menezes , Hiddink and Toshack. (via MD)

Casillas (España) Mourinho Del Bosque Villas-Boas
Eto'o (Camerún) Mourinho Ferguson Tabárez
Ibrahimovic (Suecia) Guardiola Mourinho Villas-Boas
Van Bommel (Holanda) Tabárez Guardiola Ferguson
Terry (Inglaterra) Guardiola Villas-Boas Ferguson
Shevchenko (Ucrania) Guardiola Ferguson Del Bosque
Thiago Silva (Brasil) Guardiola Mourinho Ferguson
Buffon (Italia) Guardiola Ferguson Mourinho
Del Bosque (España) Guardiola Löw Ferguson
Rijkaard (Arabia Saudí) Guardiola Del Bosque Mourinho
Camacho (China) Del Bosque Guardiola Mourinho
Löw (Alemania) Guardiola Del Bosque Mourinho
Capello (Inglaterra) Del Bosque Tabárez Guardiola
Blanc (Francia) Del Bosque Guardiola R. García
Van Maarwijk (Holanda) Tabárez Guardiola Ferguson
Menezes (Brasil) Guardiola Mourinho Löw
Prandelli (Italia) Guardiola Villas-Boas Tabárez
Hiddink (Turquía) Guardiola Del Bosque Löw
Toshack (Macedonia) Guardiola Del Bosque Mourinho
Luis Fernández (Israel) Guardiola Ferguson Del Bosque
Blokhin (Ucrania) Guardiola Ferguson Del Bosque
Advocaat (Rusia) Ferguson Guardiola Wenger
Klinsmann (EE.UU.) Löw Guardiola Villas-Boas

[Former player] Henry touched the sky in its revival with Arsenal

Arsenal got the pass to the next round of the FA Cup thanks to a veteran French striker, who came in the last minute and signed the only goal, a goal widely celebrated by the stands of Emirates Stadium.

He ran 68 minutes of play when the Emirates Stadium was stopped to pay tribute to one of the biggest players in its history, the exazulgrana Thierry Henry.

Gallic forward jumped into the grass as a lever and with more than twenty minutes ahead to try to help the Gunners to achieve a goal that Arsenal allowed to enter the next round of the FA Cup.

Ten minutes later 'Titi' returned to London the love professed fondness for the past decade to become the only goal with a shot in true 'Henry style', with a gentle but placed shot to the base of the far post . The crowd erupted in style and Henry caught a fervor that exploded before the tier, merging with his mentor, Arsene Wenger, in an emotional embrace. You have a few weeks ahead to enjoy your new and unusual stage in London. (via SPORT)

Xavi: "Messi has excited me"

The Argentine striker sincere words considering that Xavi also deserved the Ballon d'Or excited to Terrassa, who said he was "the happiest man in the world" after the words of Leo.

"Messi has me excited." That's how sharp it was Xavi Hernandez to qualify the words of his friend Leo Messi when he delivered his acceptance speech after receiving his third Ballon d'Or.

"Leo's words are better than take the prize. Sincerely hoped not. Has been extraordinary. Thank you very much and is a tremendous satisfaction. I am the happiest in the world," said Xavi.

Xavi also lament the fact that the club remain successful in the current line. "I hope we win to come back here and do not say Leo or me, because that will mean that the club is on the road to success," he said, shortly before signing a phrase that sums up his humility and community spirit. "I sign back here next year and win back Leo. Regardless of the individual, the important thing is to keep winning collectively," he added.

Xavi did not hesitate to publicly dedicate his third position and perform a variety thanks to their immediate environment. "I dedicate my third place which never fails, family and colleagues, but also to Barcelona to and those who acknowledge my work, which is a tremendous satisfaction." (via SPORT)

Iniesta: "Messi is an unique player"

Andres Iniesta, Barcelona midfielder and fourth in the election of the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2011, which was awarded to Lionel Messi, the distinction has been considered fair to his team because "it is a unique player".

"Messi? Is a unique player, and therefore, as had happened to have given it to Xavi deserves the Ballon d'Or I'm happy for him, it's a great teammate." Iniesta told the television channel 'Energy 'at the end of the FIFA gala.

Iniesta, on his fourth place, said: "It's always nice to be there. I'm happy. I am happy and aware of this time and have the fellow I have."

"Best Coach of the Year 2011" has been awarded Barcelona's Pep Guardiola.

"He deserves it. Those who know him know how it works and what it does. Hopefully in the coming years continue to be among the winners. For us there is no better than Guardiola," said Iniesta. (via SPORT)

Rosell: "This is a success of La Masia, the pride is stratospheric"

Barcelona president, Sandro Rosell highlighted the fact that both Leo Messi, Golden Ball winner 2011 as Pep Guardiola, coach of the year chosen by FIFA, were formed in FC Barcelona's La Masia.

"I am proud of this success, Guardiola and Messi. It is a prize for the Masia: both were raised in it. And the two have shared. Pep, with Tito Vilanova, Xavi and Messi. It shows the team we have, that's unbeatable. Pride is stratospheric, "Rosell said in a statement to TV3.

"It's nice that with this team and this coach, things are going well. It is comparable to winning the Champions League by the projection that gives us worldwide. Hopefully next year we can return to being here, Laporta added. (via SPORT)

Messi: “It's incredible”

The Argentinean admits that he’s very happy about winning his third FIFA Ballon d’Or and he highlights his friendship with Xavi. For Rosell, the dedications made by Messi and Guardiola “demonstrate the human quality of the people in Can Barça”.

Minutes after the conclusion of the FIFA awards ceremony, Leo Messi reiterated the speech he gave on the podium: “it’s incredible. I want to dedicate this to all of my teammates. Like Guardiola said, if we don’t win anything collectively, we can’t hope to win individual awards.” He once again had words of praise for Xavi: “I knew that if won that I would dedicate it to him. It’s the fourth year that we’re here together. He also deserves it, because he's even better each year and he also wins a lot of titles, like the World Cup last year. We have a friendship that goes beyond any award.”

On Messi’s praise of his teammate, FC Barcelona President, Sandro Rosell said: “as a Culé and as president, I’m very proud of all the awards that they’ve given us, but what I liked the most is how Guardiola and Messi shared their awards. These are the qualities that we teach at the Masia.” It’s worth noting that while Messi dedicated his award to Xavi and the rest of his teammates, Guardiola dedicated his award to his assistant coach, Tito Vilanova. For Rosell these things “demonstrate the human quality that we have at Can Barça.”

Third-place finisher, Xavi Hernández, also talked about Messi’s award dedication: “Messi and I are united by a great friendship. He’s timid and it’s difficult for him to express himself, for him to recognize me is worth more than any award. I’m the happiest man in the world.” The midfielder dedicated his third-place finish to “those that never fail, to Barcelona and its fans and to those that recognize my work. Above all, to my teammates, because we mutually make ourselves better. I want to enjoy this with all of them.”

Andrés Iniesta, who finished fourth in the Ballon d’Or, views Barça’s massive presence in Zurich as a very positive sign: “this means that the team is doing things correctly, and we as individuals are too. Hopefully we can be here in the years to come. I’m very happy for them. They (Messi and Xavi) are people that deserve it.”

For Josep Guardiola, the mere fact of having two FC Barcelona players on the FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist is a complete success: “it was a success to have three players last year, and this year we have two more. Leo and Xavi should be happy.” He also issued a reminder that award ceremonies like tonight’s are positive only after success is achieved: “it’s good that we are recognized for our efforts, but the day-to-day work puts you in your place. It’s getting more difficult to win and they know us better.” Furthermore, the Barça boss once again had words for Tito Vilanova: “when he’s not around, I miss him tremendously.” (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Leo Messi wins his third Ballon d'Or

The Argentinean star is named by FIFA as the best player of 2011, this is Messi’s third straight Ballon d’Or award. Messi equals Platini, Cruyff and Van Basten, the only players to ever win three Ballon d’Or titles.

At the age of 24, Leo Messi equals the record set by the Frenchman Michel Platini after winning three consecutive Ballon d’Or titles (2009, 2010 and 2011). Ronaldo handed the Argentinean the FIFA Ballon d’Or this afternoon in Zurich. Messi won the title thanks to votes placed by captains and managers of all the national sides and journalists from France Football.

With the Ballon d’Or in his hands, Leo Messi wanted to share the award “with the people that voted for me and with my teammates.” But he also made a special dedication to Xavi Hernández, a regular to the FIFA Gala in recent years: “We’ve shared this moment for four years. This Ballon d’Or is also yours. Without your help I would not be here.”

Besides equalling Platini as the second player in the history of the Ballon d’Or to win the title three times in a row, Messi also equals Johan Cruyff and Marco Van Basten, who have also won three Ballon d’Or titles, albeit not consecutively. In 2009, Messi won the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player, awarded by France Football and FIFA respectively. The following year, 2010, both entities decided to combine the award and call it the FIFA Ballon d’Or. Leo Messi was the first winner of the new award, Iniesta and Xavi finished behind the Argentinean. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Final Ballon d'Or standings

Ballon d'Or 2011
1. Leo Messi: 47,88%
2. Cristiano Ronaldo: 21,6%
3. Xavi: 9,23%
4. Iniesta: 6,01%
5. Rooney: 2,31%

Josep Guardiola, the best manager of 2011

The Barça boss, who won 5 titles with FC Barcelona in 12 months, beat last year's winner, José Mourinho, and Sir Alex Ferguson. The manager dedicated the title to his assistant coach, Tito Vilanova.

Josep Guardiola, winner of five titles this season with FC Barcelona in 12 months, beat out last year’s winner, José Mourinho, and Sir Alex Ferguson.

The legend of Pep Guardiola continues to grow. This Monday, in Zurich, the FC Barcelona boss was named the best manager of 2011. Guardiola was voted the best manager ahead of José Mourinho (Real Madrid), last year’s winner, and Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United).

Like the FIFA Ballon d’Or, votes were placed by national side managers (33%), national side captains (33%) and the press (33%).

Guardiola, who was recently named the world’s best manager by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), picks up yet another acknowledgement to his brilliant career. Guardiola has already won 13 out 16 possible titles with FC Barcelona, 5 of which were won in 2011.

Upon receiving the award, Josep Guardiola started by saying that he wanted to share the award with the other two shortlisted finalists, Mourinho and Ferguson. He also made special mention of the “thousands of people that have worked for FC Barcelona over the past 100 years.” He went on to say that “it’s an enormous privilege to be part of this group of people.”

However, the most important dedication was for Guardiola’s assistant coach, Tito Vilanova: “From the bottom of my heart I want to dedicate this award to Tito Vilanova, my friend, colleague and assistant. Even though you aren’t around much these days, you’re always there. This is for you, kid!”(via FCBarcelona.cat)

Five Barça players named to the FIFA FIFPro World XI

Piqué, Iniesta, Xavi, Messi and Alves were named to the 2011 FIFA FIFPro World XI. FC Barcelona, with five players, is the highest represented team in FIFA's ideal team.

FC Barcelona players make up the majority of FIFA’s ideal team for 2011 with five representatives. Of the 11 nominated Barça players the following 5 players were named to the FIFA / FIFPro World XI: Piqué, Iniesta, Xavi, Messi and Alves. It’s yet another homage to Barça’s dominance in world football. Last year, with six Barça players named to the team, Barça was the highest represented team in the FIFA / FIFPro World XI

This isn’t the first time the five Azulgranas have been named to FIFA’s ideal team. Messi is the only Barça player that has figured in the last five editions of the FIFA / FIFPro World XI (2007 through 2011). Xavi has been named four times to the team (2008 through 2011), it’s Iniesta’s third time (2009 through 2011) and the second time for both Alves (2009 and 2011) and Piqué (2010 and 2011).

Piqué: “This is an unrepeatable generation”

Gerard Piqué said that his ambition is to be “the best player, work hard and to continue winning titles.” FC Barcelona’s number 3 said that the Barça chances of continuing its title winning ways are “very good because this is an unrepeatable generation of footballers.”

Since 2009, FIFA and FIFPro have combined the FIFA / FIFPro World XI to recognize the best 11 footballers of the year. This elite squad is chosen by over 50,000 professional footballers that belong to football unions world wide. These same footballers are also responsible for nominating and voting, via secret ballot, for the best suited players for the team. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

The FIFA / FIFPro World XI team is as follows:

Goalkeeper: Casillas (Madrid)
Defenders: Alves (Barça), Piqué (Barça), Sergio Ramos (Madrid), Vidic (United)
Midfielders: Iniesta (Barça), Xabi Alonso (Madrid), Xavi (Barça)
Forwards: Messi (Barça), Ronaldo (Madrid), Rooney (United)

Ferguson: “ Barça are the best team in the world”

The press conference held before tonight's ceremony was shared between the three Barça representatives(Guardiola, Xavi and Messi) and Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. The Scot was again full of praise for Barça, claiming: "as a team they are the best by a long way and I've been saying that for a few years now. Sometimes in football you just have to say 'they are better than us.' Barça are the best and I can see nobody better to win the award tonight than Pep." As to Leo Messi, Sir Alex believes: "he's a player who could have been playing in the 50s, just as well as now." (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Guardiola: “players like this compete against themselves”

Barça boss reckons Messi and Xavi’s success is down in large part to their motivation: “they love this sport and they really enjoy it”. For Guardiola, the large number of Barça candidates for the awards tonight is “because the team have won”.

One of Barça's two representatives – Xavi or Messi – and their manager Pep Guardiola could be proclaimed Player and Manager of the year at FIFA's special award ceremony in Zurich and the boss believes: "there's no need to talk to players like Messi, Xavi or Iniesta to motivate them. They are competing against themselves. They love this sport and really enjoy it – that's why Xavi has spent so long at the top for instance. You can never be the best at what you do if you don't give the best you have inside of you."

The fact that last year's podium was filled with home grown players and that two of them are back in the running this year is "the most important success. I don't mean to say by that that players who come in from outside aren't important, but these players who grew up together and have played and been friends for a long time, sharing the same ideals- they have a commitment beyond the sporting area and a real feeling for each other. Winning or losing is one thing, but to be able to play a final with 9 or 10 players who have come up through the Club is something else and a success of a whole group of people who have contributed to their training and education. That makes us proud of the Club we represent."

For Guardiola the large number of Club players up for awards is down to the success of winning five competitions in 2011, as is his own nomination as Manager of the Year: "we are here because we won. It's impossible to judge who is the best manager - we are all here because we are in charge of big clubs with the chance to have great players. This isn't tennis – it's a collective game in which we all play a part."

Asked about his team's position in the league, Guardiola accepted Real Madrid's strong position with a five point lead: "we are up against a rival who can boast some spectacular stats and we have to live with the fact that after winning so much, maybe you can always lose that perfection. It's down to us and how we manage to compete until the end of the season." (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Ex-player] Larsson would give him the Ballon d'Or to Xavi

Henrik Larsson would have clear its vote if he/she could choose the Ballon d'Or. Their candidate would be Xavi Hernández.

The Swedish forward admitted in statements to the COM Ràdio program 'Mas Esports', his desire to win than the galarón Tarrassa as the best footballer in the world in 2011.

"I would like Xavi won the Ballon d'Or because it is very important for the Barca game. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are fantastic players. But Xavi has long done a great job, and is very important in the collective game," he said.

Larsson knows the actual game '6' Barca, as played by him from 2004 until 2006. And, indeed, was one of the biggest beneficiaries of his passes and assists.

The Swede also praised Pep Guardiola, who said that "it is the best coach and the reference to follow."

"Guardiola has much to do in this club, only good players do not win many titles over the years. The secret is in the MIX of players and coaches," he said.

In addition, Larsson sent a message of thanks to Barca's fans: "I am eternally grateful to the public. My farewell ovation was incredible, outstanding, great memories," he said. (via SPORT)